Pubcasters score cash for children


The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting System famously devote much of their resources to educational programming for children, and they have now been awarded $72M for R&D – or R, D&D (research, development and deployment) of multiplatform material aimed at improving the math and literacy of the age 2-8 crowd.

The cash, part of the Ready to Learn program, is coming from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, and will be awarded over a six year period running from 2010 to 2015 worth nearly $15M a year, according to CPB.

According to CPB, the grant “will allow CPB and PBS to advance pioneering work on behalf of the next generation of children – digital natives who will use media across many technology platforms – in partnership with local PBS stations, leading children’s producers, educational technologists, university and community partners and researchers.” This is the 4th such grant the public broadcasters have received.

“This grant is a critical investment in America’s children,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO for CPB.  “Public media – both nationally and through our local stations – is uniquely poised to ensure that children, parents, educators and caregivers have access to the most effective, purpose-built media and resources to close the achievement gap in math and reading skills for the highest need young children.”

“This generous grant will allow public media to deliver the next generation of educational resources to help kids build the skills they need to succeed in school and in life,” said Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO. “Research shows that the years before age five are the most critical period in a child’s life. This is when children learn how to learn – when their educational, emotional, and social skills begin to take shape. Educational media are an important and effective component in motivating and developing young learners.”